Taboola´s native advertising platform was created in 2007. Today, advertisers reach over 500 million daily active users on premium publishers across the open web.
Currently, over 13,000 advertisers leverage the Taboola network to reach their ideal customers and do so at scale. Like many other platforms, they have a set of recommendations to achieve the best results possible.
Those are the recommendations we´ll explore in this article from now on.
You might think you´re already maximizing your native advertising spend.
However, there´s always room for improvement. Hopefully, these best practices can give you some extra ideas to improve campaign performance.
Let´s dive into it.
Important Pre-Campaign Steps
Before you launch any Taboola campaign, there´s a series of steps you want to take to maximize your chances of success.
Most advertisers skip these steps. Then, they wonder why their campaigns are not working.
There´s an old saying that goes like this: “if you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail.”
#1 – Understand How Native Works
Sometimes, advertisers get arrogant, thinking they already know everything. That´s the biggest mistake one can make.
You might think you already got this and you probably have. But it´s never a bad time to go back to the fundamentals and understand the nature of the platforms you advertise on.
Native advertising is considered a discovery medium. That means your ideal customers aren´t going to CNN and saying “I can´t wait to buy from Bob!”
No… they´re looking for information. That´s what all buyers do. Trying to shove your product down people´s throats on native is the second biggest mistake.
The ideal approach is to lead with content, specifically a blog post. If your product is a bit complicated to explain, then this should be your go-to strategy.
#2 – Understand Your Objective
Ask yourself, what´s the goal of this campaign?
- brand awareness
- website traffic
- lead generation
This is such an important question because it frames everything afterward. Your creatives, bidding, targeting, and messaging will be based on the answer.
For example, let´s say your goal is purchases or sales on your website. A website traffic campaign will likely not give you the best results. In most cases, not even a purchases campaign will do it because you haven´t built enough trust with the audience.
So, in this case, you´re better off using the purchase objective for remarketing campaigns. This is where the algorithm can best optimize to give you the exact outcome you´re looking for.
#3 – Understand The Audience
Business people talk about product knowledge all the time. What about audience knowledge? Unfortunately, many forget they´re in the “people business.”
This is another fundamental you must get a grip on. How well you know your market will have a lot to do with how successful your campaign is.
The reason being is that audience knowledge is closely tied to targeting. This knowledge will also help you craft creatives and ad copy that resonate.
So, the more you know about your ideal customer, the better your targeting choices will be and the better your ads will perform.
Taboola Native Advertising Best Practices
We´ll take a look at a list of recommendations, mostly coming from Taboola themselves. At the end of the day, they understand the platform like nobody.
These best practices will be related to creatives (super important), targeting, and optimization.
It´s always a good idea to see what your native ads will look like before launching them. You can use Taboola´s Demo Page to accomplish that.
Another fantastic campaign research tool is Taboola Trends.
If you´re familiar with Google Trends, you´ll love this one. It basically takes what Google does to another level by showing you what´s actually working in terms of ad creatives.
Landing Page Experience
You might be driving a lot of clicks from the open web. But if most bounce back or even worst don´t even get to your website, then you´re just wasting ad spend.
Landing page experience is a bit of a buzzword. To understand it, we have to look at its components separately:
- site speed
- ease of navigation
These three make up your landing page experience. To improve them, ask yourself?
- how fast is my website, does it load in less than 3 seconds?
- is the content relevant to the audience, something they care about?
- can users navigate easily and find what they want quickly?
I would strongly recommend creating dedicated landing pages just for paid channels.
You can go even further and create landing pages specifically for native advertising, that match the look and feel of native placements.
Driving folks to your homepage is ok but not ideal. Leave that for organic traffic.
1st Party Data
The cookie-less digital marketing world is now a reality. For some businesses, it´s more like a nightmare.
Every problem is an opportunity, this is no different. So, how do you make sure your targeting is still on point without relying solely on 3rd party data?
It´s simple. Leverage your own data sets.
Speaking of 1st party, there´s something great that comes with it. Lookalike audiences are a blessing from the ad gods.
Fortunately, Taboola has the option to create lookalikes based on customer lists.
The only downside of it, at this point, is that you can only create these audiences from customers in the United States.
However, you can still create audiences from the pixel to build a solid remarketing strategy.
Remember that as with any digital advertising platform, the more data you upload the better. More data means more signals for the algorithms which will give you higher-quality lookalikes.
Another great feature of lookalikes is the ability to define the level of similarity to the original audience.
I would recommend you test different percentages in separate campaigns. Top 5% and 10% targeting come from the same seed audience but tend to behave differently.
This is because the upper you go the less similar the lookalike audience is to the original. It will also depend on your goals if you want a more targeted audience or one that gives you more scalability.
This type of placement can become a gold mine if done properly. Contextual targeting uses machine learning to identify behavior patterns.
It´s very powerful because these audiences are considered avid readers, or as Taboola puts it, most interested readers.
Contextual can be a great targeting option to promote branded content. In fact, 70% of consumers prefer to discover new products through content.
If you have more of a long-term plan and your marketing goal is to build awareness through content, you´ll be glad to know that branded content on premium publisher´s sites creates a 50% higher brand lift vs having the content on your own site.
For these and other good reasons, contextual targeting tends to be more expensive, in some industries, compared to marketplace audiences, for example.
Let´s face it. Native advertising has gotten quite complex. When you look at optimization, where do you even start?
This comes down to two things:
- the metrics you´re trying to improve
- how much time you have dedicated to optimization
Metrics: is it impressions, clicks, click-through rate, or conversion rate? If your goal is to drive more conversions, you probably won´t care too much about the sheer volume of clicks you get but about getting high-quality clicks.
Time: if you´re short on time, you might want to focus on the optimizations that have the most impact on performance. On native, improving creatives is a high-impact optimization vs adjusting budgets.
If you get lost, guide yourself with this optimization table. It´s not set in stone for every account but will give you something to aim for.
Taboola Native Advertising Action Plan
If you haven´t done it yet, now it´s time to put these best practices… well into practice.
Don´t just rest on this information.
So many marketers seek more knowledge and then don´t do anything with it. Take just one thing from this article and implement it today.
Remember that this is a game of improvement. Your campaigns might be performing well now but there´s always room for improvement.
What´s your action plan to improve them? Let us know in the comments.